How to Clean Water Softener Resin

water tank
  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 25
What You'll Need
Resin cleaner
Flathead screwdriver
What You'll Need
Resin cleaner
Flathead screwdriver

To maintain a water-softener system’s efficiency, you must clean the resin regularly. The softener’s resin attracts calcium, magnesium, iron, and other trace minerals that make the water “hard.” To remove these minerals, begin looking for an appropriate resin cleaner and follow this guide.

Step 1 – Choosing a Resin Cleaner

You should add commercial resin cleaners to the water-softener system to replace the minerals with sodium ions. When choosing a resin cleaner, make sure it’s designed to specifically remove mineral buildup.

Specified-target Cleaners

Some resin cleaners target one particular element, like iron, that often causes problems with the system. If you know that your resin beads have too much of one particular element, consider purchasing one of these cleaners specialized for your needs.

Once you've chosen your cleaner, choose a time when you don't need to use your water and complete the following steps.

Step 2 – Feeding the Resin Cleaner to the System

Following the packaging instructions, pour the recommended amount of resin cleaner into the brine tank of the water-softener system. If there is no brine tank, feed the cleaner into the salt tank while the salt content is low.

Step 3 – Setting the System to Regeneration Mode

On the control valve, locate the regeneration control knob and, with a flathead screwdriver, turn it counterclockwise. This will set the device to “regeneration mode” and cause the system to manually regenerate or recharge the resin bed.

While the system is in this mode, the water flow is reversed to remove any debris or dirt in the system. A solution rich in sodium ions is then released into the mineral tank, cleaning the resin beads.

Step 4 – Repeating the Regeneration Process

Replenish the brine tank with the recommended amount of resin cleaner and re-run the manual regeneration process to purge out more of the unwanted minerals. If the resin bed is heavily filled with iron or calcium, run the process for a third time.

Step 5 – Returning the System to Normal Settings

Access the regeneration control knob on the control panel, and rotate it clockwise to return the system to its normal setting.

Step 6 – Flush out the Water

Then, close the control panel and find the nearest faucet connected to the water softener system. Run the tap for about 10 minutes to completely flush out the cleaner from the system.

Step 7 – Knowing When to Repeat the Process

To keep your system working efficiently, you should repeat this process as often as needed. On hot summer days, where water needs to be used more frequently, you should repeat the regeneration process at least once per week. In months where you use less water, however, you need only repeat the process once per month. If you find that your softener is losing resin, you may need to install a new resin screen.